Nats not giving up any ground in NL East

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien this series.)

Philadelphia - Since the Braves left Washington on the night of July 22 and headed for Miami, they’ve won 11 out of 15 games. Not bad, right? Except when you consider the Nationals have won 12 out of 16 games since then, which means while the Braves have been winning, they’ve also managed to lose one-half game to the Nationals in the process.

After splitting four games with the Nationals in that weekend series in DC, the Braves were 3 ½ games out. They enter tonight’s game against the Phillies four games out.

Nothing like the Nationals’ past two late-night wins over the Astros to twist the knife a little for the Braves.

Bernadina's catch Tuesday night for final out in Nats' win

Bernadina's catch Tuesday night for final out in Nats' win. Getty Images

The worst team in the majors had taken the team with the best record in the majors to extra innings in back-to-back games at Minute Maid Park and lost both of them in pretty excruciating fashion.

Last night the Astros trailed 3-2 in the 12th but thought they had tied it on a deep fly ball by Brett Wallace only to watch center fielder Roger Bernadina disappear behind one of those padded pillars in the wall in left center and come out with the ball.

As reliever Craig Stammen told my friends the Nats hacks last night: “He caught it and I was like, ‘OK, is he dead or alive?’” Stammen said. “And he was alive.”

The night before, the Astros let Bernadina score the winning run in the 11th inning of a 5-4 game after botching a bunt attempt by Kurt Suzuki. Astros pitcher Wilton Lopez and first baseman Wallace collided on the play, and Wallace threw the ball away as Bernadina made his way around the bases.

So it seems no matter how well the Braves are playing these days they’re not making up any ground. If the playoffs start today, the Braves are in a one-game wild card playoff against the Pirates and we’re all talking about NLCS’s past and Jerry Meals and Sid Bream and you name it.

If the Braves want a little more security than that, they’ve got six games left against the Nationals (Aug. 20-22 and Sept. 14-16) to do something about it head-to-head. Otherwise they’ve got to mind their Ps and Qs. That starts tonight.

This would be Hudson, the Braves' bulldog once again

This would be Hudson, the Braves' bulldog once again

The Braves got shut out by Cole Hamels last night. It’s going to happen. But they’ve got to win the ones they figure to win, and that would be games like tonight when Tim Hudson (11-4, 3.45 ERA) faces Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.45) in the rubber game of this series.

Hudson has been the Braves stopper for the past few years, and this season has been no different. He’s pitched 10 times after a Braves loss, and in those games he’s gone 7-2 with a 3.84 ERA. He pitched against the Phillies twice in July, allowing them only two earned runs in 12 2/3 innings in two wins – 6-2 on July 29 at Turner Field and 5-0 on July 6 at Citizens Bank Park.

As much as the stats say Hudson should be a heavy favorite over Kendrick, the Braves know that’s not the case. Kendrick seems to pitch as well against the Braves as any team he faces. He’s 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 17 games (11 starts) against the Braves for his career. He pitched against Hudson in that game July 6 and shut out the Braves for seven innings before the bullpen blew it behind him.

Freddie Freeman drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth and Brian McCann followed him with a grand slam off reliever Antonio Bastardo.

As we saw last night, the Phillies may be in last place but they still have the pieces to inflict some harm on the Braves like Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, etc.

“Jimmy is still Jimmy,” Chipper Jones said last night. “Jimmy won an MVP. Howard won an MVP. (Chase) Utley is certainly capable of winning an MVP. They’ve got some players you better respect over there or they’re going to get you.”

Battle Ax comparisons

Someone on Twitter asked yesterday about how Chipper Jones’ season at age 40 compares to some of the other old-timers, or something along those lines. So I poked around baseball-reference.com today and found that he was in some pretty good company with what he’s got going so far this season. Entering Wednesday’s series finale against the Phillies, Chipper was hitting .320, with a .395 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage.

Here’s a look at where he would stack up compared to other players in seasons when they turned 40, with 310 or more plate appearances:

Batting average

1. Ty Cobb .357 1927

2. Sam Rice .349 1930

3. Moises Alou .341 2007

4. Pete Rose .325 1981

5. Chipper Jones .320 2012

On-base percentage

Chipper Bobblehead Night, coming on Aug. 16. Photo courtesy of Braves

Chipper Bobblehead Night, coming on Aug. 16. Photo courtesy of Braves

1. Ty Cobb .440 1927

2. Willie Mays .425 1971

3. Rickey Henderson .423 1999

4. Sam Rice .407 1930

5. Edgar Martinez .406 2003

6. Chipper Jones .395 2012

Slugging percentage

1. Harold Baines .533 1999

2. Moises Alou .524 2007

3. Chipper Jones .514 2012

Some links for your viewing pleasure:

My esteemed colleague Mark Bradley shared his thoughts on the possibility of seeing center fielder Michael Bourn in the uniform of a division rival next year. Other teams emerging as candidates for the impending free agent’s services are the Phillies and the Nationals. The Braves want him back, and GM Frank Wren has said so, but seems the price is only going to climb.

We have the video made by @rickymast, paying a little homage to Chipper, and his twitter account @realcj10. Chipper said last night he watched the video and laughed his, well, rear end off.

Also you have Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com making a case for Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel for NL Cy Young. There’s some compelling stuff in there and some numbers you’ll enjoy.

Braves lineup:

1. Bourn CF

2. Prado LF

3. Heyward RF

4. Jones 3B

5. Freeman 1B

6. Uggla 2B

7. Ross C

8. Janish SS

9. Hudson P

2,192 comments Add your comment

Venice Jim

August 8th, 2012
2:02 pm

Thanks, Carroll!

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:04 pm

Chipper clearly has some work to do…. ;-)

Thank you, Carroll, for the fine work.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 8th, 2012
2:05 pm

Thanks Carroll. Great read.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
2:06 pm

I get that. But then isn’t it obvious in the discussion? If you are comparing a Catcher to a center fielder, the only thing you can really compare is the slash line. The defense is very different, and the tools needed for that defense are very different. You don’t need to be fast on the feet to be an excellent defensive catcher. You do if you are to be an excellent defensive CF.

I don’t know that it’s always so obvious in some discussions I’ve had. Up the middle players that can hit enough and play above average defense are probably just as valuable as a .275/.350/.460 first baseman that plays average D, no?

Brian from SC

August 8th, 2012
2:06 pm

Kimbrel should definitely get some Cy Young votes. There is an argument that he’s having the greatest season by a relief pitcher ever.

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:07 pm

Thanks CR!

GO BRAVES!!

BravesFanInMaine

August 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

Great blog now lets go out and win tonight!!

Murph

August 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

Just now getting back online after a total computer failure this morning. I love having an IT department.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

Baseball Prospectus calculates that the Nationals have a 96.4% chance of making the postseason and gives the Braves a 78.5% chance of being in the playoffs.

Also, Yorvit Torrealba might be outright released by the Rangers soon. Would it be worth it to pick him up for September? Just an idea.

DS1

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

Ever is a long time…………

But he his having a heckuva year. (not willing to go find better years, because you could be correct)

:wink:

Brian from SC

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

Kendrick really pitches well against Atlanta. I hope to knock him out tonight. It may be a 2-1 kind of game.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

Kimbrel is being misused by Fredi….

He should be used the instant a game is in jeopardy and a starter needs to be yanked.

Managers only use guys like Kimbrel as closers because the media makes em do it….

Or something absurd like that… ;-)

JoshTown

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

Awesome, Carroll. Thanks for the blog! CHipper’s killing it. Well said, we just have to keep taking care of business against everyone else. Can’t control the Nats when we arn’t playing them. Just have to stay in the hunt. Go Braves!

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:11 pm

Up the middle players that can hit enough and play above average defense are probably just as valuable as a .275/.350/.460 first baseman that plays average D, no?

Yes, but then I don’t expect a first baseman to be a defender. So if the conversation where between the two I’d expect the acknowledgment of the defensive differences to be implicit, but enjoy a good talk on the offensive side. It is fun to talk about Ozzie stabbing every ball hit. It’s not exciting to talk about how a first baseman caught a ball thrown to him.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:11 pm

I seem to recall what a terrific postseason possibility percentage we had this time last year…..

Didn’t work out too well.

tony austin

August 8th, 2012
2:11 pm

Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.45) in the rubber game of this series…As much as the stats say Hudson should be a heavy favorite over Kendrick, the Braves know that’s not the case. Kendrick seems to pitch as well against the Braves as any team he faces. He’s 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 17 games (11 starts) against the Braves for his career.

This seems to the type of pitcher the Braves always struggle against.

Why?

August 8th, 2012
2:11 pm

I honestly feel the Braves need to win the division. I don’t want to see them in the 1 game wild card. We all know how they fair in elimination games:)

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 8th, 2012
2:15 pm

We’ll go and blow Kendrick out of the water tonight. Braves will win.

Brave New World

August 8th, 2012
2:16 pm

phil August 8th, 2012 2:11 pm I seem to recall what a terrific postseason possibility percentage we had this time last year…..

Didn’t work out too well.

Got to agree with you, Phil. Let’s hope the Braves forget the predictions and just win ballgames.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

It is fun to talk about Ozzie stabbing every ball hit. It’s not exciting to talk about how a first baseman caught a ball thrown to him.

That’s obvious and not really where I was going, but it’s cool.

Fly On The Wall

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

That video is great…uggla…lol…thanks for the link

Three Strikes They Are Out

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

And speaking of WAR and associated statistics and stat driven rosters and lineups, this from a current SI article on the Colorado Rockies and their project 5,183.

“Seven years ago, Tracy managed the Los Angeles Dodgers and was force-fed a roster by young, Moneyball-weaned general manager Paul DePodesta, who revered on-base percentage over a decent glove, decent speed and superior instincts. Tracy dutifully played Hee-Seop Choi at first base, Oscar Robles at third and Dioner Navarro at catcher, and even lesser lights dotted the roster. The Dodgers lost 22 more games than the year before, and finally Tracy had enough. He quit in a huff and found refuge with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had little talent but let him manage the way he believed this game ought to be managed.”

Have to say I’m in this camp.

Shaun

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

Gee I don’t know, maybe watch him play! Be knowledgeable about others who play big league baseball! Ya know, the kind of things scouts and GM’s do and know? These types were evaluating talent long before WAR and the 2000 other new numerical methods that some use to evaluate talent existed.

Yes, WAR is a way to put a more definite measure on this stuff. Scouts are essentially using the same concept, though they might not use the same language but they just aren’t precisely measuring a player’s performance value.

Scouts are using the same concept in that they are essentially asking themselves the following: Based on a player’s skills, is he likely to be major league replacement level or above or below it; and roughly how far above or below. They may not use that terminology and, again, they are using precise-as-possible measures but they are essentially using the same concept that is used with WAR.

This is why the whole stats versus scouts holy war/dichotomy is overblown and is false. The scouts and analytic types are using the same concepts and they often cross paths. Many fans want to make it an us versus them thing and want to take the imaginary side of the scouts because they view the analytical, statistical side as taking away from their vision of the romanticism of the game. I guarantee you that most people within the game realize that this is an imaginary debate and that taking sides is a backwards way of thinking and processing and trying to gain knowledge about the game and its players.

tony austin

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

Just reading a little bit about Bourn, and well all have to an idea that there is no way he will back with Atl next season, esp if the Phillies and National’s get into a bidding war.

CrαZy

August 8th, 2012
2:20 pm

We all know how they fair in elimination games.

To be fair they’ve played in all of 1 of those in the past 7 years…

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 8th, 2012
2:20 pm

I seem to recall what a terrific postseason possibility percentage we had this time last year…..

Didn’t work out too well.

That was one year… historic collapse. Not happening again for a long time.

CrαZy

August 8th, 2012
2:21 pm

2 if you count the final game of last season.

lark

August 8th, 2012
2:21 pm

quit being such wuzzies regarding the WC. better to win division no doubt, win the damn wildcard game if that is the route. just get in sure, but do more once there.

Andy

August 8th, 2012
2:21 pm

Nice Blog Carroll. Looking forward to getting a Chipper bobblehead on the 16th

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:22 pm

Frickin’ Alou…

OK, so that puts Chipper fourth in the list of largest improvement in career AVG in age 40 season.


_________AB______H___AVG age40 __AB____H___AVG___Δ__
Rice... 07555 2436 .3224 ..... 8148 2653 .3256 .0032
Alou... 06660 2005 .3011 ..... 6988 2117 .3029 .0019
Rose... 11479 3557 .3099 .....11910 3697 .3104 .0005
Chipper 08597 2615 .3042 ..... 8844 2694 .3046 .0004

Fish Bisch

August 8th, 2012
2:24 pm

Blanton owns us :(

raleighbravefan

August 8th, 2012
2:25 pm

phil – We already have at least 2 useless arguments going with Shaun this week. Don’t stir up any more, please.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:26 pm

I don’t discount the run of collapses from 96 onward….not gonna do it.

Gustopher

August 8th, 2012
2:26 pm

Great blog Carroll. Have you been to Geno’s or are you a Pat’s girl?

Shaun

August 8th, 2012
2:26 pm

Yes, but then I don’t expect a first baseman to be a defender.

A firstbaseman needs to offer some level of defense (not just taking throws from infielders but also ranging to field balls to his left and right and in front and behind him), if he’s not hitting like most other firstbasemen or else he’s not going to provide much value. It all about a player adding value to a team. And both sides of the ball count. And if a firstbaseman isn’t hitting to the level of most other major league firstbaseman is isn’t providing defensive value, he just isn’t all that valuable.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

August 8th, 2012
2:26 pm

“Jimmy is still Jimmy,” Chipper Jones said last night. “Jimmy won an MVP. Howard won an MVP. (Chase) Utley is certainly capable of winning an MVP. They’ve got some players you better respect over there or they’re going to get you.”

Yeah, but look at that .246, .200, and .250 up there!! Somebody is getting them out!…

:roll: (ITS) (This isn’t a dig at Chipper by any means, BTW…)

Ken Stallings

August 8th, 2012
2:27 pm

OK, two comments:

First, why the heck cannot the company who did the Chipper Jones bobblehead doll get the colors of the uniform right! It is navy blue not that dark royal blue! Of all things, something the Braves are giving to fans ought to have the right uniform colors on it!

Second, we should not expect the Astros to beat the Nationals. Just like Washington should not have expected the Astros to beat us. When I say beat, I mean take the series. Winning one game of a series is something even bad teams can do.

Atlanta is going to have to beat the Nationals in their six remaining head-to-head games, go something like 4-2 at least, to have a realistic chance of taking the NL East crown. It is possible, but will not be easy. The Nats are for real in all respects and they have earned the best record in baseball.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:27 pm

What useless argument am I trying to stir up? Collapses?

If that’s it, what’s to argue? We’re masters at it.

SteveinFXBG

August 8th, 2012
2:28 pm

The real question isn’t if the Braves will win or not, it is: What fluke play will help the Nats to a win tonight???

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:28 pm

That’s obvious and not really where I was going, but it’s cool

That’s pretty much where I’m always going. I’m not building a roster for major league club, so this persistent need to dig ever so much deeper is splitting hairs. A first baseman and a right fielder have obvious differences between them. But the two coming up together, being the same age, both hitting well and competing against each other in the minors on offensive measurements… I tend to want that game to continue in the majors, so I watch those offensive measurements.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 8th, 2012
2:28 pm

.246, .200, and .250

BMac, Janish, Rev’s batting averages! (or thereabouts)

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:29 pm

A firstbaseman needs to offer some level of defense

And thank you for pointing out the obvious…

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:32 pm

Amen, Ken stallings….but we’re not beating them head to head and a split with them in the final 6 is being realistic….that doesn’t get it done, obviously, nor does 4-2 without a decent amount of help.

If the Nats are going to crush all comers, then we have to do it too. Now. Not in two weeks. Now.

Or it will be too late. It’s a lot to ask, but we better get to doing it.

Braveone

August 8th, 2012
2:33 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,129 comments, Efrim led the way with 94 posts. There were 154 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 Efrim 94
2 nolie 69
3 ncscoots 51
4 TheOnlyBravesFan 50
5 raleighbravefan 45
6 TennesseePaul 44
7 Jeff R 31
8 JC Brave 30
9 Mixxo 25
10 Brian from SC 23
11 Shaun 21
12 Ward 21
13 CraZy 20
14 phil 20
15 tiger297 20
16 cricket 19
17 nc fan 19
18 MikeInFl 18
19 Coach (2012 Fredi’s Beisbol Fandango) 17
20 MiaBchBravesFan 17
21 DS1 16
22 Lew 16
23 The A Bomb 16
24 Hmmmm 15
25 Mark 15

lark

August 8th, 2012
2:35 pm

All for fat Mac getting his rest time(Ross in lineup tonight). Still fat pants better be ripping the ball come September

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:35 pm

I tend to want that game to continue in the majors, so I watch those offensive measurements.

And, I’m surprised to say Freeman is out OBP Heyward for the year. But they’ve made a real sport of it this season so far.

ChipperisGod

August 8th, 2012
2:36 pm

Nats don’t lose, they have that killer instinct the Phils had for the last five years or so. We gotta just keep trying to take series and then find a way to beat them when we play them. We haven’t taken a series against them all year. Now’s the time to do it.

I’m hoping these struggles against the Stros is telling. The Nats will soon face steeper competition in the Cards and the Giants. I think they play LA too. If they could just lose a couple of those games, and then we can take one of the two series against them, we have a shot.

Good thing STL and Pittsburgh lost last night. Didn’t lose any ground.

Let’s get Huddy out there, make Kyle Kendrick remember he’s Kyle Kendrick and not Roy Halladay, and take this series, go to NY and take that one too. A 4-2 or 5-1 road trip would be excellent.

Go Braves!

Three Strikes They Are Out

August 8th, 2012
2:38 pm

“Baseball Prospectus calculates that the Nationals have a 96.4% chance of making the postseason and gives the Braves a 78.5% chance of being in the playoffs.”

Yeah and on September first last season, Baseball Prospectus had the Red Sox at 100% chance to make the playoffs! And the Braves were at around 99%.

So much for predictions in August or even September for that matter.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 8th, 2012
2:41 pm

Name calling on BMac? Dude…

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
2:42 pm

That’s pretty much where I’m always going. I’m not building a roster for major league club, so this persistent need to dig ever so much deeper is splitting hairs.A first baseman and a right fielder have obvious differences between them. But the two coming up together, being the same age, both hitting well and competing against each other in the minors on offensive measurements… I tend to want that game to continue in the majors, so I watch those offensive measurements.

It’s fun to watch that – but I like assessing and placing value on players. It’s a lot of fun for me and that’s where we differ on this one, my friend. ;)

raleighbravefan

August 8th, 2012
2:43 pm

phil – I was referring to your comment about proper use of your bullpen/”closer”

DAP

August 8th, 2012
2:44 pm

chipperis I’m hoping these struggles against the Stros is telling. The Nats will soon face steeper competition in the Cards and the Giants.

while trying to find a silver lining, this is what i was thinking. the nats have blown leads vs. the astros in back to back games, and last night would have blown another in the 12th if not for a spectacular defensive play. we lost 2 games to them in 4 days. we can get them back in 4 as well.

lark

August 8th, 2012
2:47 pm

Braves vs Nats 4-8.

Not too worked up over a 4 game deficit. Win both series remainding and half that deficit. In that case, I like the guys with A on their lids. Win the series in DC coming up period.

Shaun

August 8th, 2012
2:47 pm

Three Strikes They Are Out, actually Jason Phillips caught most of the games for the 2005 Dodgers. Jose Valentin started out as their thirdbaseman and Mike Edwards played most of the games there.

I don’t think DePodesta was perfect but what he did was sign veterans to short-term deals to clear space for the likes of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and James Loney (though Loney ended up not working out so well). Again, I’m not saying he did everything right or that it was perfect but he had a plan. He just wasn’t given time to stick around and see it through.

Check out that 2004 roster. The key players were Adrian Beltre (who left for more money), Shawn Green (age 31), Jason Werth (who DePodesta kept but was let go by the next regime), and Odalis Perez (who didn’t miss bats and was preventing runs essentially with smoke and mirrors). DePodesta knew that they weren’t likely to win by trying to re-live 2004 over and over again. So he let some players go, signed some players to short-term deals and was preparing space for Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Martin, Andy LaRoche and Billingsley by not blocking the roster with bad deals. After one good year followed by one down year, he was let go.

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
2:48 pm

I like assessing and placing value on players.

That’s fine. If I cared enough to play any of the leagues, I’d be more into it probably. But I don’t so here we are… I wouldn’t argue that a perennially healthy and productive Heyward in RF is more valuable than a perennially healthy and productive Freeman at first base. I have not deluded myself into believing that Freeman is the next Joey Votto or Albert Pujols at the position. But I do know that he is a home grown Brave who has a very good chance to be a good to very good ball player for a long time. I also know that if Heyward were playing first base, he’d be equally undervalued in some metrics as Freeman currently is.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
2:48 pm

Since early in May, Heyward’s high in OBP is .354 on June 27th. He’s hovered between that number and .340 for more than a month – never going into the .330’s(.248/.331/.404 since that 0 for 5 vs. Zona on the 28th of June).

Three Strikes They Are Out

August 8th, 2012
2:50 pm

” I guarantee you that most people within the game realize that this is an imaginary debate and that taking sides is a backwards way of thinking and processing and trying to gain knowledge about the game and its players.”

I refer you back to the article about the Rockies and Jim Tracy:

“Seven years ago, Tracy managed the Los Angeles Dodgers and was force-fed a roster by young, Moneyball-weaned general manager Paul DePodesta, who revered on-base percentage over a decent glove, decent speed and superior instincts. Tracy dutifully played Hee-Seop Choi at first base, Oscar Robles at third and Dioner Navarro at catcher, and even lesser lights dotted the roster. The Dodgers lost 22 more games than the year before, and finally Tracy had enough.”

The very thing you are claiming, that taking sides is a backwards way of thinking, seems to be contrary to your own philosophy. You never say a player “looks good” or has great speed or shines brighter when the spotlight is on. You are all about that a players value is determined by the “new stats.” Allowing numbers on a printout to be the final word on evaluating talent is backwards thinking as well.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
2:50 pm

If I cared enough to play any of the leagues, I’d be more into it probably

You mean Fantasy Baseball? Oh no. What ever gave you the idea that I played a ton of that and my assessing and placing value on players had anything to do with that?….

ChattTownBrian

August 8th, 2012
2:51 pm

BMac hurt us very bad last September, admittedly so by the way. One of the main culprits in the collapse.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:52 pm

raleighbravefan

August 8th, 2012
2:43 pm

phil – I was referring to your comment about proper use of your bullpen/”closer”
___________
Had already forgotten about it….lol

I guess you’re right!

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
2:53 pm

Of course, it was really about 100 PA’s that Heyward was poor. He has turned it up right around the time I was starting to get worried – last 61 PA’s since July 24th – .296/.361/.556.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:54 pm

Win both series remaining….

What makes anyone realistically think that will happen? Aside from a miracle night and the game the next day, the Nats have crushed us this season. Hoping they will just collapse, well, because they’re the untested Nats doesn’t get me all jacked up with enthusiasm.

phil

August 8th, 2012
2:57 pm

Mac can’t even muster the energy or speed or whatever to leg out an easy double. They threw him out last night by 10 feet.

And he’s hitting .240 on August 8th….grrrrrrrr

monty

August 8th, 2012
2:58 pm

Nats have Bernadina coming of age. Can’t see why they’d get in a bidding war for Bourn. Morse, the Kid, the former Phillie guy, and San Bernadina,? Is there something I’m missing?

Shaun

August 8th, 2012
2:58 pm

Three Strikes They Are Out, you do realize Jim Tracy is one of the worst managers in the game, right? Pointing to him as some sort of champion on the scouts’ side in this imaginary scouts versus stats dichotomy doesn’t really help convince us that there should be an actual debate and that the perceived scouts’ side has it right.

I guarantee you that most scouts know more about what you call “new stats” than you would feel comfortable with. And most of the “new stats” folks within the game trust and listen to scouts and know more about scouting than would make you comfortable.

Efrim and TennesseePaul, most fantasy leagues assess player values the same way as MVP voters assess fantasy value. The traditional, Triple Crown stats, pitcher wins, ERA and saves are king; not to mention the lack of any sort of defensive considerations in fantasy. Assessing actual player value is often very different from assessing a players’ fantasy value.

monty

August 8th, 2012
3:00 pm

“Mac can’t even muster the energy or speed or whatever to leg out an easy double. They threw him out last night by 10 feet.”

That solves the McCann vs. FF speed debate, once and for all! :)

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:01 pm

Efrim and TennesseePaul, most fantasy leagues assess player values the same way as MVP voters assess fantasy value. The traditional, Triple Crown stats, pitcher wins, ERA and saves are king; not to mention the lack of any sort of defensive considerations in fantasy. Assessing actual player value is often very different from assessing a players’ fantasy value.

Was about to write the same thing. It’s about counting stats in Fantasy Baseball. Fangraphs and BP stats have nothing to do with Fantasy Baseball.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:03 pm

Nats have Bernadina coming of age. Can’t see why they’d get in a bidding war for Bourn.

He;s a 4th outfielder type. Bourn will help them a lot. It’s probably too early to start matching up suitors for the guy, but I think it’s fair to say that they will have a lot of interest. When looking at their position player roster – it’s the one spot that makes sense to upgrade.

monty

August 8th, 2012
3:05 pm

Maybe CK could just pitch the 1st inning of every game and we could be reasonably assured of a shut down 1st inning, since that has been our struggle all year. Why waist him in the 9th when we have a 3 run lead? :)

monty

August 8th, 2012
3:06 pm

Pops

August 8th, 2012
3:06 pm

Shaun makes about as much sense as Screech.

unbelievable

August 8th, 2012
3:07 pm

Washington has been struggling to find a long term CF’r. They will offer more than the Braves will to get Michael Bourn.

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
3:10 pm

Since they’ve both been healthy they’ve really taken off:


_________G__PA__AB__AVG__OBP__SLG__OPS
Freeman 43 180 154 .325 .417 .506 .923
Heyward 43 189 167 .293 .365 .527 .892

During no 43 game stretch this season has Heyward had an OBP over .400. The highest he obtained in 43 games has been .378, ended with Aug 2. Nor has he hit for that high of average. On the other hand, no 43 game stretch of Freeman’s has seen SLG as high as Heyward’s highest (.564 –ended July 14).

But it would appear they are going head to head on this stuff again. And that makes me happy.

MFin04

August 8th, 2012
3:10 pm

“would you trade McCann to be able to free up the money to re-sign Bourn?”

Umm, I could see this argument going either way…

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
3:11 pm

You mean Fantasy Baseball?

I don’t know because honestly, I don’t care.

Pops

August 8th, 2012
3:11 pm

Why do Nats need Bourn. They got the self proclaimed best outfielder in the game. Bryce Harper said so. If you don’t believe me, ask ESPN. Thats their boy.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:12 pm

During no 43 game stretch this season has Heyward had an OBP over .400. The highest he obtained in 43 games has been .378, ended with Aug 2. Nor has he hit for that high of average. On the other hand, no 43 game stretch of Freeman’s has seen SLG as high as Heyward’s highest (.564 –ended July 14).

But for some reason, I personally do not see the trend this season as a precursor throughout their careers. I still see Heyward as a OBP threat and the potential for “elite walker” status to return.

nolie

August 8th, 2012
3:13 pm

no I would not. no matter where the money comes from Bourn is gonna get more than he is worth to the Braves IMO

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
3:13 pm

I guarantee you that most scouts know more about what you call “new stats” than you would feel comfortable with. And most of the “new stats” folks within the game trust and listen to scouts and know more about scouting than would make you comfortable

This is interesting… how do you know what makes that person comfortable?

nolie

August 8th, 2012
3:14 pm

I’ll take Hey every timw

ChattTownBrian

August 8th, 2012
3:14 pm

BMac just can’t seem to sustain any consistancy at the plate this year. Weird thing because he’s such a gifted hitter. Debate all you want on why this is, but we don’t know. Apparantly he doesn’t either or he’d fix it.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:15 pm

I don’t know because honestly, I don’t care.

Okay. But just so you’re aware(since we converse so much), that is in no way why I like to look at “player value”. That’s a ridiculous way of looking at things.

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
3:16 pm

I still see Heyward as a OBP threat and the potential for “elite walker” status to return.

He’s still “elite walker” if you go by counting stats (he has more walks than Freeman), but the hitting for average is pulling on his OBP, hence Freeman with his higher OBP this season.

nolie

August 8th, 2012
3:16 pm

I’m pretty comfortable. got my shoes off and am kicked back in a vibrating chair with a cold soda by my side…..

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
3:16 pm

that is in no way why I like to look at “player value”

Fair enough.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:17 pm

I’ll take Hey every time

It’s not close, as we’ve agreed on. ;)

MIdtown

August 8th, 2012
3:18 pm

I personally detest Minute Maid Park’s design. There are no seats behind the left power-alley, and a homer there makes it look as if they are playing at an empty place. Not to mention the seats that oddly jut out in the far left corner and the columns next to them (and the cute little hill that rises in deep center–let me not even go there). Hard to make out what’s happening to the balls hit there. Whatever happened to a smooth, round fense that actually makes sense?

Roger B’s catch last night was great no doubt, but partly because he had to contend with the non-sensical structures back there. Why did he have to jump eight feet in front of the .. fense, I guess?

The fact that he managed to disappear behind one of those columns, even though the ball was caught well before the fense, does not make it the catch of the year that some people are making it.

All this to say … I hate that the Nats won.

TennesseePaul

August 8th, 2012
3:19 pm

Or, I suppose one could say Freeman is an elite HBP, and thus has a higher OBP.

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:19 pm

I’m pretty comfortable. got my shoes off and am kicked back in a vibrating chair with a cold soda by my side…..

Span or Bossman Junior in CF next year…….

Just to get you riled up, noles. :)

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:20 pm

Or, I suppose one could say Freeman is an elite HBP, and thus has a higher OBP.

Has Heyward been hit this year? Did Fred McGriff EVER get hit?

Efrim

August 8th, 2012
3:21 pm

Scott Diamond has 16 walks in 114 IP this year.

Honestly, this is Sean Gilmartin. Superb control – never going to walk a soul in the majors.

5th starter.

unbelievable

August 8th, 2012
3:22 pm

Chipper never gets hit either.

raleighbravefan

August 8th, 2012
3:24 pm

Nats have been the best team in the NL all season…no argument, really. However, I believe they will fade, more than some other teams, including the Braves. Much of their success is based on their pitching…which has been even better than expected. However, their top guys have never pitched this many innings in a year, and they continue to insist that they will shut Straus down. I believe we are already starting to see some of this. There are still a lot of games to play. Time will tell, but as we know, all too well, the season doesn’t end in August.

MIdtown

August 8th, 2012
3:24 pm

I thought that, after suffering years in the former Joe Robbie Stadium, the folks in Florida would take some care to build an asthetically pleasing ballpark, if not just to make up for all those years in the football stadium. Well, I was wrong. The price of a retractable roof, I guess.

bruce benedict

August 8th, 2012
3:25 pm

I’d love for us to catch the Nats, but I don’t see it happenning. With their rotation, they will not go into a slump. Their line-up with Morse and Werth back is pretty good as well. Finally, we simply can’t beat them head to head. I do believe we have a good team, but a one game wild card playoff scares me. The Braves haven’t exactly preformed well under pressure with the season on the line for many years now.

DAM

August 8th, 2012
3:26 pm

I like Bourn, but I don’t see how we can shell out huge money to him at this point in his career given his skill set. It’s a tough call, I think.

Just imagine how good he could be if he would stop striking out so much …

nolie

August 8th, 2012
3:27 pm

Biggio used to get hit every other game it seemed

monty

August 8th, 2012
3:28 pm

“the season doesn’t end in August.”

Yeh, every coach from now on who has any kind of lead going into Sept. will refer back to the 2011 Braves as proof. Ugh!

Tomahawkin

August 8th, 2012
3:28 pm

Looks Like People are Finally taking The Curley W’s Seriously…? I warned y’all that they were going to be like the 1994 Expos….

No Catching them unless we beat them in our head to head matchups which is a Daunting task considering we have no Ace

nolie

August 8th, 2012
3:28 pm

Ks from a lead off guy don’t bother me all that much, though I would prefer fewer I’m not sure it would necessarily make him all that much better

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